Trump to appeal conviction as he faces July sentencing

Former U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Friday that he will appeal the guilty verdict that made him the first U.S. president convicted of a crime. However, he will have to wait until after his sentencing on July 11 before initiating the appeal process.

Speaking at the Trump Tower lobby in Manhattan, where he originally announced his presidential bid in 2015, Trump reiterated his belief that the trial was a “rigged” effort to derail his 2024 presidential campaign. “If they can do this to me, they can do this to anyone,” Trump, 77, declared in a 33-minute speech. He did not take questions from reporters and labeled the trial a “scam.”

Trump has 30 days from the date of his July 11 sentencing to file a notice of appeal.

President Joe Biden responded to Trump's remarks, emphasizing the fairness of the legal process. “It's reckless, it's dangerous, it's irresponsible for anyone to say this was rigged just because they don't like the verdict,” Biden, 81, said at the White House.

Trump was found guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records to cover up a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, intended to influence the 2016 election. The maximum sentence for these charges is four years in prison, though shorter sentences, fines, or probation are more common. However, Trump's public criticism of jurors and witnesses during the trial, which led to a $10,000 fine, might result in a harsher penalty from Justice Juan Merchan.

Despite the conviction, Trump can continue his presidential campaign and take office if elected. His sentencing is scheduled just days before the Republican Party's convention in Milwaukee, where he is expected to be formally nominated as their candidate.

Trump's legal troubles are not over, as he faces three additional criminal prosecutions related to his attempts to overturn the results and mishandling classified documents. He has pleaded not guilty in all cases, asserting they are politically motivated.

Public opinion remains divided. An April /Ipsos poll indicated that one in four Republicans would not support Trump if he were convicted of a felony. While some supporters call for drastic actions, others remain steadfast. In Georgia, retiree Wendell Hill, 65, dismissed the conviction as politicized, whereas longtime Republican voter Carol Cuba, 77, expressed disgust with Trump and considered voting for Democrats for the first time.

Trump's campaign claimed to have raised $52.8 million online in the 24 hours following the verdict. Many major Republican donors continue to support his campaign despite the conviction.

The trial featured explicit testimony from Daniels about her alleged 2006 sexual encounter with Trump, which he denies. Michael Cohen, Trump's former fixer, testified that Trump authorized the $130,000 hush money payment to Daniels and that the reimbursements were disguised as legal fees.

The Manhattan District Attorney's office elevated the falsifying business records charge to a felony, arguing that Trump was concealing an illegal campaign contribution.

If re-elected, Trump could potentially end the two federal cases against him but would not have the power to stop the separate election-subversion case in Georgia.

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